Sleep: The Surprising Reason You May Not Be Losing Weight
Sleep: Many of us know we need more of it, but we don’t make it a priority. We’d rather stay out that extra hour, watch one more episode, or get more done before calling it a night. But if weight loss is important to you, add a good night’s sleep to your to-do list!
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention 1 in 3 adults are sleep deprived. On average, we need at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Are you getting yours? If not, you could be putting your health in danger.
- There are the obvious reasons why sleep deprivation could prevent weight loss. You’re less likely to hit the gym if you’re tired, and late nights often lead to more eating and poor food choices. But there’s an actual biological reason too. Less sleep leaves you physically hungrier. This is because of two hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals hunger, and leptin stops it. But studies show that when you’re sleep deprived, you produce more ghrelin and less leptin. And when this happens, your body can’t properly use insulin. Excess insulin = extra fat storage.
- Need proof? Countless studies have shown the correlation between obesity and a lack of sleep. For example, a study out of Harvard shows that women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese then the test subjects who slept 7 hours a night.
4 Ways to Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest
Eat Sleep-Inducing Foods at Dinnertime
We’ve all blamed turkey for our exhaustion after a big Thanksgiving meal. Turkey has that reputation because it contains the amino acid Tryptophan, which is known to cause drowsiness. And you’ll become even more drowsy when you pair that turkey with carbs, because they’re also known to make you sleepy. Try making meatloaf minis with turkey and oats to get yourself into that sleepy state-of-mind. Other foods that contain tryptophan include shrimp, chia seeds, and eggs.
Establish a Wind-Down Routine
Don’t Eat a Heavy Meal Close to Bedtime